Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is a mitochondrial boosting supplement that improves mood, learning, and memory. ALCAR also helps your muscle mitochondria burn fat, which can increase your endurance, give you an edge in the gym, and help you recover faster


L-Carnitine is an amino acid that’s synthesized in your body. You also get it from red meat and dairy.

L-Carnitine is considered a “conditionally essential” nutrient because when your body uses it faster than it can produce it, you need supplemental L-Carnitine either from food or a supplement.

L-Carnitine is used throughout your body. Here we’re talking about the Acetyl-L-Carnitine form of L-Carnitine because of its affects on brain health and chemistry.

How it works?

Like all L-carnitine variants, ALCAR is synthesized primarily in the liver and kidneys and then transported to other tissues.

ALCAR has excellent bioavailability and is readily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Once absorbed, its actions differ considerably from those of other forms of L-carnitine, which don’t cross the blood-brain barrier. The acetyl groups that make ALCAR unique enable it to cross the blood-brain barrier readily and rapidly, and ALCAR’s most important functions take place in the brain.


Recommendations for the standard daily dosage of ALCAR range from 1,000–3,000 mg daily.‍[30]

Users report that taking ALCAR in the morning provides peak daytime brain function, though some users say ALCAR works best when split into two or more doses taken at intervals throughout the day. Taking ALCAR late in the evening may result in disruption of the normal sleep cycle.‍[31]

ALCAR can be taken on an empty stomach, but users who experience gastrointestinal upset report that it can be minimized or avoided by taking ALCAR with food.‍[32]


ALCAR’s effects are truly potentiated when combined with other nootropics. It is commonly included in stacks that feature nootropics in the racetam family, allowing them to each function to their fullest potential.

Since ALCAR works in tandem with the acetylcholine system, it may also be a good idea to include a choline precursor, such as Alpha GPC, in your stack.


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